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All, I’ve had quite a few people ask me questions about my workout routine. How do I do it? How did I get started? How do I keep doing it?

Let’s start with getting started. The simple answer is to do something. I don’t care if it’s taking a swim in the morning, an evening walk or jog, or even exercising with a video you watch on YouTube or purchase from Amazon. The key is to start something.

A few pieces of advice:

  • Always consult with your doctor before commencing with a workout routine. Your doctor can give you some advice about what to do initially so you don’t hurt yourself.
  • Start small—ridiculously small.
  • If you’re going to lift weights, get yourself a trainer initially, so you can learn how to do it right.
  • Decide what your goal is: Get stronger? Get leaner? Increase endurance? Improve overall health and well-being? What is it?
  • Pick a time that allows you to do this exercise the same time every day.

Once your doctor approves, you set your goal of improving overall health. Your measure of improving health would be to improve your Oxygen uptake, reduce your body fat, gain some muscle strength, and improve flexibility.

You decide to do a brisk walk every morning for 10 minutes to start. You select 6:00 am for your start time and plan on being back home by 6:10 am. Easy, right? You walk away from your home for 5 minutes and walk back. Do this for a week.

At the end of that week, weigh yourself, and elevate your walk time by 5 minutes. Now you start week 2 with 15 minutes (6:00 – 6:15 am). Follow the same pattern over and over again until you get yourself to walking 30 minutes each day.

Once you get to 30 minutes, now we add some strength building exercises. Start with 1 pushup every day after your walk. Each week elevate by 1 pushup until you can do 10 pushups without rest.

Once you’ve completed your exercises stretch out the muscle you worked. Look up chest stretches online for some ones you can use on your own. Always stretch at the end so you can minimize soreness.

This is very basic but will get the ball moving. If you are serious, you’ll continue this routine indefinitely. Take it slow. Now let’s talk about diet, water intake, and sleep.

I would guess diet is about 80% of the solution when trying to trim down. Your diet should be a combination of complex carbohydrates, healthy fats, and lean proteins. Talk with a good nutritionist or your doctor to get an idea of any foods you should include or avoid in your diet, due to any allergies or conditions you have. They will help you calculate the number of calories you’ll eat each day and help you put together a menu of foods that you can create meals from.

If you are going to move into bodybuilding, you’ll want to visit JimStoppani.com and read his article Nutrition 101. Bodybuilding diets are much different from a typical diet because you are trying to build muscle, which your body will not do voluntarily. You need to force it to adapt to your exercise routine and then feed it properly so it has all it needs to add that muscle to your frame.

Drink lots of water on a daily basis. I start with a half-gallon in the morning when I work out. I continue to drink water throughout the day. If you drink coffee or any other type of diuretic, you’ll need to increase your water intake, as diuretics will cause your body to shed water.

Sleep is up to you and an individual thing. Personally, I need about 7-8 hours, but you may need more or less.

Well, I hope this helps you. If you have any other questions about weight lifting or exercise, feel free to post your question. I’ll answer it or send you some web links that will answer your questions.

One more thing. No one can do this for you. You have to want to do this and commit to it. Exercise will improve every facet of your life. You’ll sleep better, feel better, have a healthy appetite, and your stress levels will lower. YOU – have to want this, no one else. Excuses are what they are–an indication that you really don’t want this and would prefer sitting in front of that television, shoving chips in your mouth. That’s ok if that’s the way you choose to live your life. If you are unhappy with that–change it. You are the only one that can.

Next week, I’ll address Gym etiquette.

Until next time…